Netflix's crime series, Narcos is responsible for creating hundreds of job vacancies and helping Colombia open up its natural beauty and acting talent to the world. However, domestic critics, while recognising the quality of the drama, have scorned the accents of the non-Colombian actors and complained that their country is being sold short.
According to a report in DNA After Hrs, Michael Stahl-David, who plays a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent - Chris Feistl, told journalists in Bogota last week that he took a lot of pain to show his Instagram followers the country's many attractions.
"There were mixed feelings," he said and admitted of filming in the heavily forested Valle del Cauca department, where Escobar's sworn enemies in the Cali cartel emerged as the world's top cocaine trafficking operation in the early 1990's. "It's a controversial show here but there was never hostility at us for doing it, they just don't necessarily want to watch it," he stated.
Stahl-David, 34, admitted he had a 'stereotyped and outdated' impression of a 'super-dangerous' country before he arrived but he soon realised that he could travel freely and was moved by the generosity and warmth of the locals.
Executive producer Andi Baiz, who has directed many episodes including every season finale, is one of the many Colombians working on the show and who defends the efforts to be fair to the country.
"There is a resistance to the narco image of Colombia, ofcourse, and I understand why that happens. Around the world, they think of Colombia in terms of drugs and if we are lucky, they think of Colombia's Gabriel Garcia Marquez and soccer players too.
There's an effort needed for people to understand that we are much more than that. Our culture, music, the arts, our resilience is very important. But I think Narcos actually has shown that too," he says.